BIMCO calls for effective implementation of the 0.50% global sulphur limit in 2020


The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 4) will meet next week.

The 4th session of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 4) will be held in London from 16 to 20 January 2017.

The Sub-Committee on PPR deals with environmental-related matters in addition to its traditional work on bulk liquid cargoes. The Working Group on the Evaluation of Safety and Pollution Hazards of Chemicals (ESPH Group) reports to PPR.

PPR is the only Sub-Committee, which reports to both Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) and Maritime Safety Committee (MSC).

Important items on the agenda

The agenda for PPR 4 includes the following items:

  • Justification and scope for a new output on effective implementation of the 0.50% m/m global sulphur limit in 2020. BIMCO co-sponsored a submission related to this matter where we outlined four areas that are critical to ensure effective implementation before 2020: any transitional issues, impact on machinery systems, verification, and any regulatory amendments or guidelines.
  • Development of guidelines for the discharge of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) bleed-off water in order to reduce NOx output. IMO has already developed guidelines for scrubbers (reduction of SOx), which makes it possible to operate on normal heavy fuel oil within sulphur emission control areas.
  • Review of MARPOL Annex II requirements that have an impact on cargo residues and disposal of tank washings. BIMCO recognises the problem that can result in large lumps of congealed cargo residues on beaches.
  • Review of the voluntary measurements to collect data on Black Carbon (BC) emissions from ships – BIMCO, together with the rest of the industry, have asked for proper justification and cost benefit analysis when it comes to BC. We believe that shipping accounts for a very marginal portion of the BC emission. Data has been submitted, which will be reviewed at the meeting. Some observers have requested IMO to strengthen the BC requirements already before an adequate amount of data has been submitted and properly analysed.
  • Review of IACS’ interpretation of the NOx Technical Code. The 2008 NOx Code entered into force on 1 January 2016, which among other things regulates the certification of the engine. There are two ways to certify an engine: one refers to approval at the engine test bed, whereas the other considers certification when the engine is installed onboard. Several delegations have requested alignment between the two certification schemes, which will be difficult, as they cover two completely different scenarios.
  • Revision of guidance on ballast water sampling and analysis are important pending issues, which need to be solved before the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention enters into force on 8 September 2017.
  • Production of a manual entitled "Ballast Water Management – How to do it". Even though these guidelines are aimed at IMO Member States, BIMCO has been involved in the draft of the manual. It is important especially for the use of Port State Control Officers.

BIMCO will be represented in plenary by the Maritime Technology & Regulation department, as well as in the working groups dealing with prevention of air pollution from ships and the drafting group on production of a manual entitled "Ballast Water Management – How to do it".

A brief report on the outcome of the meeting will be published shortly after the meeting.

Jeppe Skovbakke Juhl
in Copenhagen, DK


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